The main symptom Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is extreme fatigue that does not appear to have any explanation. It is exacerbated by the same factors that affect normal fatigue, such as exercise, stress and lack of sleep. Unlike normal fatigue, however, chronic fatigue does not improve with rest.
What makes chronic fatigue so challenging to deal with is that it is difficult to diagnose and treat. There is no test to either confirm it or rule it out. On the contrary, it is often diagnosed through tests that rule out other conditions.
Chronic fatigue syndrome can have some far-reaching impacts. The individual may develop depression, become socially isolated and miss days of work. His or her ability to handle stress can also be affected.
In addition to the extreme exhaustion for which the condition is named, chronic fatigue has other symptoms that include the following:
The precise causes of chronic fatigue syndrome are unknown, but studies have shown links with several factors: